When I visited San Antonio last year, I discovered Greens, a gem of a restaurant and a haven for vegetarians on the outskirts of downtown. Eager to side-skirt the meat- and cheese-heavy Texan cuisine, a few friends and I checked it out together. All of the dishes we ate that night were great – fresh and vibrant. They really know how to make a mean sauce!
I still remember when my friends tried the kale salad. It was their first time eating a raw kale salad and they enjoyed it. Simple and sweet, yet slightly spicy, but not overpowering. We tried to guess what was in it, pinpointing the flavours.. soy sauce? citrus? chili flakes? While there was no specific recipe (they make it to taste every day), thankfully our server told us exactly what was in it: soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and brown sugar. I could have sworn there was orange juice, but regardless, I was eager to try my hand at this once I returned home, with or without the citrus!
As I flipped through Color Me Vegan, I bookmarked the raw kale salad with orange, grapefruit and lime, and I remembered the salad from San Antonio. I figured this would be a good recipe to try to recreate it. I wasn’t sure about including grapefruit, so I omitted it entirely. Being familiar with the massaging technique for raw kale salads, I also opted to wilt my kale with the citrus dressing. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the citrus kick from both the orange and lime juices. It paired well with the kale, and the addition of onion and pine nuts made this even better than the raw kale salad at Greens! I prefer my salads to be on the less sweet side, so feel free to add more agave, to taste, depending on the sweetness of your oranges.
I’ve said it before, but raw kale salads are perfect for gatherings: no worrying about anything spoiling in the sun and wilted kale salads can easily be made in advance since they are supposed to wilt! Enjoy!
Other kale salads I have enjoyed:
Raw Citrus Kale Salad
Adapted from Color Me Vegan
Zest from one orange
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, or rice)
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes (or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced)
1 bunch kale, leaves stripped from rib and finely chopped (I had 300g prior to removing the stems; lacinato kale is great if you can find it!)
3 oranges, peeled with membranes removed and separated into wedges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced, and soaked in water for at least 10-20 minutes
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1. Mix together the orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, agave nectar and chili flakes. Add to kale and massage for 5 minutes, until it wilts.
2. Add oranges and red onion to kale.
3. When ready to serve, top with pine nuts.